WASHINGTON (NBS News) — President Donald Trump threw the weight of the White House behind the fight against the opioid crisis Thursday and declared it a national emergency.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially, right now, it is an emergency,” Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “It’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.”
Trump’s surprise announcement came two days after he vowed the U.S. would “win” the fight against the epidemic but stopped short of acting on the recommendation of the presidential opioid commission to “declare a national emergency.”
It was not immediately clear what prompted Trump’s change of course. But he called the crisis “a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”
“You know when I was growing up they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs,” Trump said. “There’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years. And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem.”